HOWTO – enhance your organisation

We think most organisations can be better at what and how they do things. We specialist in decision making by consensus, conflict resolution, facilitation and participative ways of working, co-op development and a host of other relational skills.

We recognise that most of our potential collaborators are skint or exist on shoestring budgets. As we do. So here’s the idea – you and we bid for funding together. Here’s where we know we can work well with you –

1. Research and advocacy

We think the nature of activism is constantly evolving, for example moves to on-line working; and ‘constructive activism’ (ie We’re not just against this, we’re for THAT; or the ‘Another world is possible’ approach). As researchers we would work with you to map how these shifts could affect or benefit you, and what helps or hinders any progress. This could be a working-inside-the-group approach or a more detached researcher role (ie observation and semi-structured interviewing). As ideas emerge and prove to be useful, we’d share this with the wider network and publish stuff (web or physical).

We can also work on issues of ‘leadership‘ in consensus based campaigns – why do campaigns generally fail to replicate the early energy, and manage to bring new perspectives and people into leadership? Is it to do with a limited set of people with the energy/wit and drive? Or is it more about unconsciously and unintentionally falling into command/control modes? Or something else? How is all this impacted by wider social discourses (ie the political context, actions of the state, recessionary pressures, trying to operate alternatively in the midst of mainstream, etc)? Again we can work with you to discern these patterns and work on ways through.

Comparing and contrasting modes of operation. This idea overlaps with the previous two, but the focus is on how different modes of operation (eg consensus, consultative, top down etc) impact on wider public and political consciousnesses. For example, how Greenpeace (core and supporters), Amnesty (big hierarchical orgn with supporters), direct action by consensus grass roots (UK Uncut, Occupy, Climate Camp) differ in impact as a result of mode of operation. This would connect to concepts of medium and long term sustainability of organisations. Is there an ideal form and way of working that maintains impetus? This would factor in funding, personality, situation in wider social context, timescale of project, impact desired etc.

2. Infrastructure

Range of workshops, resources and hands-on support to a range of organisations. Idea that this support is stratified – eg 1. nursery or start up, 2. needs additional practical support, 3. operating well or artist who needs action learning, deeper reflection (eg hubs, Communities of Practice, networks etc).

This to be offered at set points throughout the year and bespoke for one to one support. But will include applying products of learning from research, basic infrastructure support (ie governance, ways of working, people co-operation, marketing, ‘leadership’ etc). Note – precise nature of this support to be developed with orgns who support this bid.

Getting the funding

Once some of you say, “yes”, we will work on bids with you. So let’s be having you.